Italian Slang: M

Italian Slang Dictionary: intro A B C D E F G I L M N O P Q R S T U V X Z


[makh-kair-RON-ikko] “Maccaroni-ish”. This is the term Italians themselves use for heavily Italianized and very poor English. Not rude, except to the person/discourse to whom you are applying it.

Madonna, Madonna Mia

[mah-DON-na MEE-a] My Madonna! A general exclamation of shock, can be used in polite company.

Mamma Mia

[MAHM-ma MEE-a] My mom! General exclamation of shock or consternation, similar to Madonna mia. Yes, it’s cliché, but it really is used in Italy.

Mandare all’inferno, a quel paese

[mahn-DAH-ray ahl in-FAIR-no, ah quell pah-AY-zay] To send to hell or to that place – to tell someone to go to hell. Inferno wouldn’t be considered particularly rude today, but mandare a quel paese survives as an alternative, a relic of when wishing someone to hell was very rude indeed.

You can also mandare a fare in culo (rude) or in bagno (polite).


[mahn-NAHJ-jah] The word itself is very mild, equivalent to drat or darn. But it can be quite satisfying if you really spit it out.


[mar-PYOH-nay] Skirt-chaser, a man constantly trying to seduce women. The term makes no judgement as to his eventual success. Related to furbo.


[may-nay-fray-GHEES-ta] From me ne frego – Someone who doesn’t care.


[MARE-dah] noun – Shit, though not used nearly as often as in American English. Except in Siamo nella merda – “We’re in the shit.”

Mettere le Corna

[MET-ter-ray lay COR-na] To put horns on (someone else) – to (sexually) betray one’s spouse. Hence cornuto. Not particularly rude when used in this way, e.g. Non sa che sua moglie gli mette le corna con il macellaio – “He doesn’t know his wife is cheating on him with the butcher.” (I chose the butcher as an example, not because I know of any specific cases, but because butchers are popularly supposed to be getting a lot of it – dunno why, perhaps the proximity to all that meat?)


[mean-YOT-tah] Prostitute. Used in the exclamation Porca mignotta!


[MINK-ya] Sicilian slang for penis. Used as an exclamation: Minchia!


[mink-YA-ta] A supremely stupid act. My favorite use of this is Montalbano’s Una solenne minchiata (a solemn supremely stupid act). See also cazzata.


[MIN-nay] Tits. I think this originates in Tuscan dialect.

Mi Va

[mee VAH] This is slangy but not particularly rude. Literally it means “it goes me,” (mi – reflexive pronoun for myself, va – from the verb andare, to go) but it’s used for “I like it” with a verb, as in Non mi va di… – “I don’t want to do… ” Also used for something else you do or don’t like: Mi andrebbe una bella bistecca stasera: “I’d really like a good steak this evening.”


  1. I was wondering if you could translate Minazza for me? As in the expression – che minazza. Thanks 🙂

  2. the word in question is or sounds like “munja cake” can you please tell me the meening of this word I work with alot of italians and hear it quite often. thanks

  3. When working in Torino, one of my colleagues exclaimed what sounded like “Cosa Minke!” [KOH-sah MINK-ay]. I’m gussing that this a variant on “minchia” as described above. I know what the literal translation would be but what was he realyy trying to express? Mille Grazia.

  4. Munja Cake or Caker is an expression adopted primarily in North America referring to non Italians. This expression or term was given, as the white bread eaten by Americans and Canadian was so unlike Italian bread that is coarse and crusty, that the Italians referred to the white bread as a cake. Hence, non Italians were caker eaters or simply Cakers.

  5. I’m looking for a translation on the word it sounds like magguliana (maj-uli -ana

  6. Looking for translation for a word, that sounds like Ungatz (or perhaps oongatz) – might be Sicilian dialect but I’m not sure.

  7. a young woman sends a picture of a kitten, or pussycat to a man. Does it have the same double meaning that it does in english?

  8. How about ‘marrone’ or ‘’marone’? I understand it is meant to stand for the ‘Madonna’ or Mother of God but then also “Holy smokes!” I recently looked it up (after figuring out its spelling) and read that it’s North Italian slang for balls, testicles? I would like to know how it is generally used or translated as in the Northeast of the USA, please. Thank you!

  9. What is the translation of mundone this is from the central part of Italy abruzzo !

  10. My grandmother use to use the phrase oh (and I have no idea how to spell this) mezedia? Does anyone know the correct spelling and what this means

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